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UCU comment on HEFCE grant letter

23 February 2017

Commenting on the publication of the annual grant letter  today, UCU said it was disappointed with an overall drop in funding and that universities minister Jo Johnson had not sent a stronger message that Britain remained open for business.

The union said it thought the minister's desire to make Britain "the global go-to nation for scientists, innovators and technology investors" was ambitious when he could only offer warm words about the contributions EU staff make to our universities.

UCU said unless the government guaranteed the rights of EU staff to stay in the UK then it risked turning off the brightest brains from studying, teaching and carrying out research in the UK.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The grant letter shows a disappointing drop in overall funding from the government and, unlike last year, does not include projected income from university fees.

'While there are warm words from the minister on the important work of EU staff, we feel his desire to make Britain the go-to nation for scientists and innovators will only be a pipe dream unless we can guarantee the rights of EU staff to stay in the country. Academics say they are looking to leave the UK, not flock here.'